WHEN you have a hit show it isn’t uncommon to milk it. And 27-year- old Lena Dunham has been doing so, and then some, with Girls.
Aside from getting the industry to salute her prowess as creator, executive producer and actress, she bagged four Emmy nominations, took Golden Globe honours for Best Comedy Series and Best Lead Actress in a Comedy or Musical Series as well as the Director’s Guild Award for Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series.
While we can’t help but applaud the strides Dunham, who has the enviable backing of rom-com doyen Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), has made in TV – especially as the antithesis to all things conventional as a writer– there is that niggling question of: “what’s next, three seasons in?”
Yes, she made Tiny Furniture, a feature film that earned her rave reviews. Then she blew fans away with Girls, which, despite speculation of being a carbon copy of Sex and the City, was anything but. Her characters were relatable and didn’t look like they had stepped off the cover of Vogue.
Although I’m addicted to the show, it does appear as if Dunham’s creativity and talent has reached a plateau. Aside from Jemima Kirke (Jessa Johannson), who appears to be stuck in the same rut as Dunham, all her other actors are using the platform of Girls and securing more work.
Allison Williams (Marnie Marie Michaels), Hannah’s best friend and former room mate who hasn’t had the best of luck with relationships, has gone on to do The Mindy Project. Her kitty, however, isn’t brimming like co-star Zosia Mamet (Shoshanna Shapiro).
She may be considered rather non-descript in the looks department, but that hasn’t kept her from bagging a role on the Emmy award-winning series, Mad Men, as well as the upcoming projects: Outliving Emily and Shiva and May. That’s not even taking into account her myriad voice-over work last year.
Even the guys in the series are maximising on their exposure. The lanky and big-nosed Adam Driver (Adam Sackler) has been doing a slew of movies, Lincoln being among the forthcoming projects like This is Where I Leave You, Midnight Special, Hungry Hearts, Silence and While We’re Young. Oh, and he also starred on The F Word.
Alex Karpovsky, better known as the insecure Ray Ploshansky, has done a string of movies like the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and will be seen in Happy Baby and Folk Hero and Funny Guy.
And Andrew Rannells as the über camp Elijah Krantz, has remained in the comedy realm with The New Normal, How I Met Your Mother and Comedy Bang! Bang! (hasn’t shown here yet).
This brings us back to Dunham, who has only one movie role, Happy Christmas, added to her kitty post the Girls-fame.
Perhaps it is time she took a page out of Chuck Lorre’s book. While acclaimed for his hit series Two and a Half Men, the Emmy award-winning creator, executive producer and writer has expanded his repertoire with The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and Mom.
After all, in Tinseltown you are only as good as your last show and only as popular as your last accolade. Just saying!
• Girls airs on M-Net Series Showcase (DStv channel 113) on Fridays at 10pm.